Welcoming in the Latest and Greatest Year Ever!

So, what exactly did we raise our glasses to the other night?
Is this the second day of an even newer age of digital social interactions? Are we minutes away from the next site through which we can pin pictures of our friends to our news feed, apply filters and hang out with connections with whom we share a common hashtag?
Or are we just going to muddle along like usual, living our lives out through every social medium that is available on our pocket smartphone?

Posts like this recent Mashable piece would have us believe that businesses and consumers alike will start looking for something a little less commercialised than Facebook – and now Instagram for that matter – in the very near future. That people will soon grow tired of promoted posts clogging their feed, and the “relevance” alogorithms that have turned regular friend-to-friend Facebook interactions into more of a bought popularity contest than ever before.

But if the New Year’s Day well-wishing I saw on my news feed was anything to go by, it would appear Facebook’s army of fans is not going to be switching teams in a hurry. With more than a billion users, there are still plenty of reasons to dedicate resources to your Facebook strategy, and revise it to suit current trends.

Social media examiner’s predictions for 2013 recommend you think in pictures. With photo sharing sites Instagram and Pinterest widening the playing field in 2012 and increasing their shares of social media traffic by 17,319 and 5,124 per cent respectively, it would be wise to invest in creative people who can make your business much prettier and more “likeable” online.

Many of the large retailers who experimented with Facebook’s e-commerce platform have since decided to stick with the status quo, but make sure you keep your eyes peeled for developments in this arena, as well as the latest and greatest “freemium” options (such as Facebook’s post promotions), to ensure your blood, sweat and tears have some degree of impact on the public.

One Forbes blogger reckons she achieved a much greater quality of life when she quit social media, and is urging readers to do the same. I wouldn’t say you should set a resolution to ditch social media entirely – not even your personal page (you need to walk the walk to talk the talk) – but it is a good idea to streamline your activity. What worked well last year? What was more headache than it was worth?

Rather than muddle along with erratic posts on 10 different social media platform, you’re better off concentrating on holding your ground and building your fans on the channels you know well – or freeing up a few resources to test out the new kids on the block and decide whether they are your cup of tea or not. We all know about the importance of a “like”, and so do the social networks. Only when the users, when YOU, like a network will it become a success. If you like something, chances are others will to, and you’ll be on to a good thing.

To a year full of doing things you like, and others like, too!

 

Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts

It’s not uncommon for most of us to have more than one Twitter account these days. If you’re in media/PR/marketing, you highly probably would be tasked to now handle the Twitters of your company or clients as well.

There are several apps out there which lets you effectively log into and manage multiple twitter accounts at one time, and Mashable has a great list to kick you off.

Too many apps in the webosphere? These Twitter management tools top my list:

WEB-BASED

1. Hootsuite

I swear by HootSuite. It’s easy to use, and the tab features make toggling between accounts an absolute breeze. Tabs are awesome. This app also lets you integrate other Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ and WordPress. But if, like me, the thought of having too many social media platforms on one app makes your brain freak out, then I suggest you stick to just Twitter.

Also, the logo is an owl, and I love owls.

2. SplitTweet

Another web-based app that I like is SplitTweet, mainly because the ninja-mole logo is cute. This tool also tracks brand mentions to let you better able to monitor your brands. Your accounts are also separated by coloured dots, so you can view all your feeds from all accounts in one timeline. Coloured dot or not, it can still get a tad confusing. HootSuite still wins for me. But cute ninja-mole logo.

MOBILE

The official Twitter app is actually really good for multiple mobile Twitter account management. These other Twitter apps havemy seal of approval too.

1. Slices (Love this, they have an in-built photo editing feature)

2. TweetFire

3. TweetDeck

4. HootSuite

5. Twitterific

Now, the thought of handling multiple Twitter accounts while on-the-go frighten me much. For starters, I can’t help but think of the possible consequences of accidentally switching Twitter accounts, especially when you’re on the go.

Think I’m a paranoid crazy piece of work? Imagine this now: In one of those late night, uh, stupors, you accidentally tweet something NSFW onto the wrong account. The horror. And we all know in the age of print-screening, there’s no such thing as take-backs.

So if you’re as paranoid as I am now (you’re very welcome), here’s a simple solution: Use different apps for ONE twitter account, as opposed to using one app for multiple twitter accounts.

And there are a lot of Twitter apps too, so unless you’re handling a hundred Twitter accounts (I’ve just fallen in love with you, call me), you’re good.

Facebook Still Most Preferred by Marketers

These days, your business just isn’t cool if you’re not using some form of social media. A report done by the guys over at SocialMediaExaminer.com revealed that amongst marketers, Facebook still remains the top of the social media pack.

The top five social media networks/tools used by marketers are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube, in that order. A whopping 92% of marketers use it to enhance their businesses, and 72% plan to increase activities on Facebook. And it comes at no surprise too; with 955 million monthly users and 852 million daily logins, Facebook remains the most frequently checked website on the Internet.

The Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2012 is the fourth annual study done by SocialMediaExaminer to understand how marketers are using social media.

Also particularly interesting was the addition of the Photo sharing sites category in the report. 21% of marketers are using sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr to boost their businesses.

The study coincides with a more recent study done by RichRelevance, which is an analysis of nearly 700 million shopping sessions on leading U.S. retail sites. The study revealed that Facebook dominates as a source to drive traffic to online retail sites. Shoppers who click-through from Facebook account for the overwhelming majority of shopping sessions at nearly 86% (85.8%), followed by Pinterest (11.3%) and Twitter (2.9%).

While Facebook still rules, it’s clear that photo apps like Pinterest are gaining popularity too, marking the rising trend of visual social media marketing. Photos do speak a thousand words eh?

Oh, RichRelevance has a cool infographic on their study too, check it out:

[ViaAllFacebook]